penis size

By Francis Ewherido

When I was growing up, death was so distant and occasional. Not anymore; as I grow older, news of deaths has become more regular and close: death of two siblings, relatives, in-laws, friends, acquaintances and people I know from afar.

These deaths were caused by stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and heart failure, amongst other ailments. Someone I met about six weeks ago suddenly died in the presence of his wife, daughter and uncle. His aged mother went to bed about an hour earlier and did not get to witness the sudden and horrendous death of her son, but now the octogenarian knows.

The blood sugar of someone else I know suddenly shot up. He has been managing the sugar level, but not this time: he died before help could come. An acquaintance travelled home for a ceremony. He slumped and died. We are all aware of the popular gospel singer, Sammie Okposo. It is just crazy.

“Death is a necessary end; will come when it will come.” Personally, I have stopped worrying about my own death. Why worry about what I have no powers over? But I do what is within my power to avoid deaths that I can avoid. A diabetic woman had a sore in one of her legs that refused to heal. She was told the leg had to be amputated or she would die. She preferred to die rather than live with one leg. Not long after, she died. Another old man agreed to be amputated. It was done and he lived to 89 years before he died of unrelated causes. 

A woman was diagnosed with breast cancer. She refused a mastectomy; she felt a woman without breast is a man not a woman. But she still had her vagina, not a penis! Gradually, the cancer spread to the second breast and the rest of her body. By the time, she faced reality and agreed that the breasts be chopped off, it was late. Why would you keep breasts that have become cancerous?

If it’s because of your husband, will he agree to suck cancerous breasts? Won’t he be worried that the cancer might spread to him though unlikely? If you do a mastectomy and your husband now finds you unattractive, to hell with him. It is the vagina not the breasts that is the primary sex organ? If you die tomorrow, he will mourn you for a while, remarry and move on with his life.

Who knows what is beneath once you dress up? I know a few women who have had mastectomies on one or both breasts. If I had not been told, I would not have known. I am very happy that more breast cancer survivors, including those who underwent mastectomies, are now coming out. Soon it will become normal, not something to be ashamed of.

Some men who suffer from prostate cancer also get to a stage where they need to chop off their balls. Hopefully they would have had their kids. But even if they have no kids, what is more important, childlessness and be alive or risk death when there is even no guarantee that you will have the children you have not had before the cancer? The primary reason for marriage remains companionship, not procreation.

One polygamist was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was told his balls needed to be removed to tame the rampaging cancer. He took a look at his harem, wondered what would happen to them. He refused to do the procedure. Not too long after he died. These are the avoidable deaths I am referring to.

The first line of battle to stop avoidable deaths is self. About four years ago, I recommended these: “Once you are 40 years, annual medical checkup becomes a necessity. The checkups recommended by medical practitioners include physical examination, visual examination, blood sugar level, Lipid profile, Liver function test, electrolyte, full blood count, urinalysis, prostate specific antigen (men above 40yrs), Chest x-ray (Above 40yrs), prostate scan (Men above 50yrs), ECG (Those above 40yrs), colonoscopy (men above 50yrs), mammography (for women above 40yrs and some other tests.

Each of these procedures serves a particular purpose. Chest x-ray, for instance, is meant to show the state of your lungs. Chest x-rays can detect heart-related lung problems, cancer, infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia or air collecting in the space around a lung, among others. Blood sugar level is for all persons 40 years and above, especially people from families where there is a history of diabetes.

In fact, such persons should have been doing their checks long before 40 years. Normal blood sugar level is between 70 and 99 fasting (that is when you wake up in the morning) and not more than 140 two hours after a meal at all times.” I have done my annual checkup for this year. 

Sometimes, I get unsettled. As I am writing, five of my friends are battling with prostate enlargement/cancer. Though I have already done prostate two tests this year, I intend to do another one before the year runs out. I scolded one of my friends recently. His father died of prostate cancer, but he has never checked his and he is over 50 years. Urhobos say that the stick you see must not pierce your eyes. 

I am pre-diabetic. Consequently, I took a few drastic steps. I have stopped taking soft drinks and malt. I am okay with water. Once I found out champagne is filled with sugar, I stopped and the economy has made my job easier. Red wine is the only drink with sugar that I take and it is restricted to occasional glass. Garri, my addiction for over 50 years, is forbidden in whatever form.

Cake is restricted to birthdays and I take just a small portion. My diet is restricted to oat, unripe plantain and cornflakes. I check my blood sugar twice a week. Once in a while, if my diet gets boring, I eat rice, or corn or anything I fancy, but not sugary stuff. These measures, though extreme, have worked for me because my fasting sugar is scarcely above 99 and I no longer take any diabetic drug.

High blood pressure is still an issue though I take my conventional drugs religiously. My very protective teenage daughter was by my side when I was checking my blood pressure one day. At the end the sphygmomanometer (BP monitor) “announced” that my BP is “abnormal.” My daughter retorted that “you’re the one that is abnormal, not my daddy’s BP.” I consoled her that the monitor is only reporting what it read, but she went on ranting.

I am still looking for alternative effective herbal remedies. The ones they told me will “crash” my BP did not crash anything. I have also stopped watching competitive live matches of Nigeria and my team, Arsenal. They make my BP shoot through the roof. Some people have lost their lives watching live matches. I only watch later if the result is favourable.

My dear people in your 50s and 60s, especially, please take your health more seriously. You only have two options: kick out deadly habits or risk kicking the bucket (death). 

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.